Buckwheat and Almond Meal Blueberry Carob Muffins
No, I haven't broken up with chocolate! But, if your Valentine isn't too sweet on chocolate because she or he is very sensitive to caffeine or just doesn't like it (like my son who doesn't really like chocolate), carob is a good ol' Mediterranean plant that is a great alternative. I've baked with carob many times before, but sort of forgot about in my over-arching love for cacao. When I recently saw a bag of organic Mallorcan carob powder at the store, however, I decided I'd make some "chocolate, but not chocolate" muffins, especially for my son (which he loved by the way!).
Carob is also naturally sweet, not bitter like cacao, so you'll actually need less sweetener in recipes. It has a similar consistency to cacao powder, and while it doesn't taste like chocolate, it has a chocolate quality that makes it a great alternative! Moreover, it's a simple swap: if a recipe calls for 50g of cacao, you can just use the same amount of carob.
Carob has a slightly different nutritional profile than chocolate, but it too is rich in polyphenols, although cacao is superior in this arena. Carob, however, is richer in calcium than chocolate (providing an outstanding 35% of our DV per 100g), as well as copper, manganese, potassium, fiber, and even provides a pretty damn good amount of protein.
This Healthibella recipe uses gluten free buckwheat flour, protein rich almond meal, and a little banana and maple syrup to sweeten it up. Gluten free. Dairy Free. Caffeine Free. Refined Sugar Free. So, it ticks most of the checkboxes, but especially the most important: Homemade With Love.
Happy Valentine's Day! xx, Juli
Makes about 16 medium sized muffins
- 300g buckwheat flour
- 100g almond flour
- 50g dessicated coconut
- 50g organic carob powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
- 2 organic hen eggs
- 200ml oat or rice milk
- 100ml extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on your sweet tooth)
- 1 mashed ripe banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, banana, and vanilla extract.
- In three separate batches, mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Fold the blueberries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into muffin cups or a silicone muffin mould until just below the rim. If using a muffin tin, you'll need to rub a little coconut oil in the cups so they don't stick.
- Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before removing from muffin cups.